In my opinion – mirrors are like hypnotists. You should never look them directly in the eye. Because if you do, something BAD might happen.
We all have those days when you know you look like you’ve been working on a pig farm for about a month with no running water. But you have no time or energy or natural ability to fix yourself up. Or even shower. So you put a brave face on it and put your hair in a bun which you imagine to yourself looks windblown and carefree, but know deep down that it really looks like Phyllis Diller on ruffies. And you throw your gym clothes on and pretend to be on the way to/from the gym all day long. Make-up. Nah. Jewelry. Nah. Clean underwear. Hmmmm.
Well, every once in a while I have those kind of days. And inevitably, I see my mother-in-law, Barbara, on those days. Now, I love my mother-in-law. Really. I do. She and my father-in-law came here from Greece many years ago and they have led an amazing life. However, she’s not what you would call, er, evolved. If you’ve seen the movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ I’m here to tell you that NOTHING in that movie was exaggerated. It’s real, baby. So Barbara, or Babs as we affectionately call her, is now 72 years old. She is strong as an ox and until recently still shoveled snow and mowed her own lawn. She has leg muscles that would make Ahnold envious and has a tendency to get me in a head lock when she wants to give me a kiss. She favors old sweat pants and men’s shirts (t-shirts, sweat shirts or button ups) as long as they are black, brown or navy. I think the only time I’ve seen her in makeup was at our wedding (that’s a post for another time, but you’ll enjoy it, I promise.) I’d catagorize her as ‘natural.’ Not a fashionista. Until it comes to me. For some reason she feels it’s her duty to call to my attention that I’m not having a good day. This mostly involves my hair, which for those of you who know, I change frequently. It’s currently short and blonde, but it has been every other color and length under the sun. Some of those were successful and others, not. But through it all, the one constant that I can count on, is that Babs will tell me when it’s not. ‘LEENDA, I tell you true. You don’t look so good with your hair dark (or long, or light or red or short.)’ Sometimes it involves my clothes. ‘LEENDA, you’re wearing that?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘WHYYY?’ So then I second guess myself and go change. ‘Oh yes, I think this is much better.’ Perhaps she is a closet ‘Vogue’ reader and we’ve just never known.
As I said earlier, my hair is currently blonde and short. The first time she saw it, she loved it. But she couldn’t just say something nice and leave it at that. She opened her mouth and the words started to come out, ‘Yes, looks better. Because before . . .” And I tried to stop her. ‘Barbara, don’t say it. I know what you’re going to say, and please don’t say it!’ ‘But before, it’s no good.’ There. It was out. I may as well have been trying to hold back the tide. So this time I asked her why she had to tell me I didn’t look good. She was very hurt and said ‘Because I love you, that’s why I need to tell you.’
How can I argue with that?
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